Articles

Stress Often to Blame for Alcohol Use Disorder

Stress Often to Blame for Alcohol Use Disorder

Posted on August 19th, 2014

Stress is a common fact of everyday life. However, in addition to unavoidable daily stress, some people get exposed to major stressful events that can have a lasting impact on their mental health and well-being. In a study slated for publication in 2014 in the journal Drug and Alcohol Dependence, a team of New Zealand researchers tracked the impact that exposure to seriously stressful events has on a young adult’s chances of developing alcohol use disorder. The researchers concluded that major stress can substantially increase the odds of experiencing the symptoms of this condition.

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CocaineAddictionLinkedtoGeneticRisksforDepression

Cocaine Addiction Linked to Genetic Risks for Depression

Posted on August 17th, 2014

Depression is the accepted term for a range of conditions, known technically as depressive disorders, that center on the presence of disruptive, “down” emotional states. There is considerable evidence that at least some of the risk for depression stems from genetic variations that affect the body’s use of a key chemical called serotonin. In a study published in April 2014 in the journal Drug and Alcohol Dependence, researchers from three U.S. institutions conducted testing designed to determine if people affected by cocaine addiction have an unusual susceptibility to genetically based, serotonin-related depression.

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Women Who Have Ever Abused Prescription Drugs Are Riskier Drivers

Women Who Have Ever Abused Prescription Drugs Are Riskier Drivers

Posted on August 16th, 2014

Risky driving is a term used to describe any driving-related behavior that increases your chances of breaking the law, getting involved in a motor vehicle accident or otherwise endangering your health and safety or the health and safety of others. People who participate in this kind of driving frequently die at an earlier age than people who drive safely. In a study published in late 2013 in the journal Substance Abuse, researchers from the University of Texas Medical Branch investigated whether teenagers and young women who abuse prescription medications have increased risks for participating in risky driving. 

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PotentiallyDeadlyNBombMimicsEffectsofLSD

Potentially Deadly N-Bomb Mimics Effects of LSD

Posted on August 15th, 2014

The U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency has blamed at least 19 deaths since March 2012 on a synthetic drug known as N-bomb. The drug mimics the hallucinogenic and euphoria-inducing effects of lysergic acid diethylamide (LSD). Its most common street name comes from a series of the chemical ingredients that make it up, N-BOMe, although it is also sometimes referred to as Smiles.

One of the most disturbing features of N-bomb is its apparent ability to attract young people into experimenting with it. All of the 19 confirmed casualties associated with the synthetic drug have been people between the ages of 15 and 29, and N-bomb is known to be used among teenagers as young as middle school age.

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The GeneticsofAlcoholism

The Genetics of Alcoholism

Posted on August 14th, 2014

For the last 25 years, the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAA) has funded a comprehensive research effort to identify the link between genes and alcoholism, known as the Collaborative Studies on the Genetics of Alcoholism (COGA).

Though considerable time, money and effort has been has been expended on this effort, no single gene has been identified as distinctly linked to alcoholism, and no gene-based therapy had proven effective across a wide enough population to be considered a breakthrough. On its website, the NIAA states “Research shows that genes are responsible for about half of the risk for alcoholism.” 

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PETScanHelpsPredictSuccessDuringCocaineTreatment

PET Scan Helps Predict Success During Cocaine Treatment

Posted on August 12th, 2014

There are no well-developed medication options for addressing the effects of cocaine addiction. This means that treatment for this form of addiction centers on non-medication-based therapy, including an approach called contingency management. In a study scheduled for publication in 2014 in the journal Drug and Alcohol Dependence, researchers from the New York State Psychiatric Institute sought to determine if it’s possible to predict which contingency management participants dealing with cocaine addiction will experience the most treatment benefits. These researchers concluded that doctors can gauge the likelihood of treatment success with a combination of brain scans called PET scans and measurements of patients’ responses to the early phases of contingency management. 

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BingeDrinkingIncreasestheRiskforAlcoholProblemsLater

Binge Drinking Increases the Risk for Alcohol Problems Later

Posted on August 11th, 2014

A study published in the May 15, 2014 issue of the journal Biological Psychiatry reports that people who participate in binge drinking in their early 20s may be at higher risk for alcohol-related problems later in life.

Binge drinking is associated with a number of risks. Individuals who engage in binge drinking are more likely to behave impulsively, resulting in injuries or involvement in an assault. Impulsive behavior can also lead to dangerous sexual behaviors, which can then lead to an unplanned pregnancy or contracting a sexually transmitted disease.

These risks may seem remote to people in their 20s enjoying their newly legal drinking status. Heavy social drinking during college years can appear to be a rite of passage for some students, but binge drinking comes with a multitude of potential problems that can follow a binge-drinking individual and derail him or her from future plans.

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Seven Crucial Lessons from Quitting Drinking

Seven Crucial Lessons from Quitting Drinking

Posted on August 7th, 2014

Moving toward sobriety is a time of harsh realizations and unavoidable lessons. To the inexperienced, quitting drinking can seem like nothing other than avoiding picking up a bottle, but in reality it requires self-searching on a level that most people would prefer to avoid. To really tackle our demons, we have to be willing to face up to some home-truths, and Fix writer Aaron Kuchta shares the lessons he learned from his experience to help others going through similar issues in a recent article. Outside of traditional treatment modalities, he identifies the essential lessons that helped him get back in control of his drinking.

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Does Early Life Stress Help Predict Young Adults’ Involvement in Drug Abuse?

Does Early Life Stress Help Predict Young Adults’ Involvement in Drug Abuse?

Posted on August 6th, 2014

Stress is the common term for the mental or emotional pressures that surface in everyday life or appear in extraordinary circumstances. While most people adapt well to stress in most situations, certain stressful experiences can have lasting negative consequences on physical and psychological health. In a study published in March 2014 in the journal Addiction, researchers from three U.S. universities explored the potential role of significant family stress in early life on the chances that a young adult will increase consumption of drugs and potentially qualify as a drug abuser.

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The Secret to Happiness? Drinking Less Alcohol.

The Secret to Happiness? Drinking Less Alcohol.

Posted on August 5th, 2014

Men who moderate their alcohol intake generally lead happier, more fulfilling lives, a 75-year long Harvard study shows.

In 1938, the Grant Study set out following 268 Harvard undergraduate men in order to determine what factors contribute most strongly to human flourishing. Dr. George Vaillant, who directed the extensive and detailed project for over 30 years, discovered there was a direct correlation between a man’s drinking habits and his overall level of health and well-being.

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Energy Drinks Lead to Wide-Awake Drunks

Energy Drinks Lead to Wide-Awake Drunks

Posted on August 4th, 2014

In the U.S., significant numbers of teenagers and (typically young) adults combine high-caffeine beverages called energy drinks with alcohol. This combination can seriously endanger a person’s health and well-being. In a study published in June 2014 in the journal Alcoholism: Clinical & Experimental Research, researchers from Indiana University – Purdue University Indianapolis used laboratory experiments on mice to conduct a detailed examination of the impact that caffeine has on an alcohol-intoxicated state. These researchers concluded that caffeine’s effect on alcohol intoxication can substantially increase the dangers associated with being drunk.

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How Do I Tell a Friend He Has a Drinking Problem?

How Do I Tell a Friend He Has a Drinking Problem?

Posted on August 1st, 2014

Seeing a friend spiraling into self-destruction is never a pleasant experience. Not only will you be witnessing somebody you care about hurting him or herself, you’re also thrown into the uncomfortable position of having to decide what to do about it. It might not be the most appealing notion, but real friends look out for each other, and that means that you have to share your concerns if you care about your friend. Knowing how to do this is much more difficult, but there are many things to consider that should make the process go as smoothly as possible.

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Staying Sober When You’re Surrounded by Drugs

Staying Sober When You’re Surrounded by Drugs

Posted on July 31st, 2014

By Edie Weinstein, MSW, LSW

One of the most challenging aspects of getting sober, regardless of your drug of choice, is exposure to drugs and reminders of drug use in daily life. Alcohol, for example, is omnipresent. Characters in movies and television shows are often portrayed with a drink in hand. Advertisements make imbibing seem glamorous and unfortunately, many target underage drinkers. Substance use is often a reflection of wealth, good times, relaxation and socializing.

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5 Key Elements of Recovery from Depression and Substance Abuse

5 Key Elements of Recovery from Depression and Substance Abuse

Posted on July 30th, 2014

For 20 years, I battled with a cycle of depression that went from manageable low moods to periods of isolation and despair. Yet it wasn’t until I had a complete breakdown that I started to challenge my mental health status. When I did, it turned out to be the first step to overcoming depression and the foundation to learning how to keep emotionally well.

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